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United States v. Miller

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

January 23, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
GARLAND D. MILLER

          HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Petitioner Garland D. Miller's (“Miller”) “Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis or in the Alternative Motion to Amend Judgment Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60” (Record Document 170). Miller seeks the following relief in the instant Petition: (1) reversal of his conviction for tax evasion; (2) an vacating the restitution imposed upon Miller as part of the sentencing for this conviction and ordering disgorgement of restitution paid pursuant to sentencing; and (3) an order granting relief from the Court's judgment of conviction and sentence under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). See Record Document 170. For the reasons contained in the instant Memorandum Ruling, Miller's Petition is DENIED.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On March 28, 2007, a federal grand jury issued an indictment against Miller on two counts of tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. See Record Documents 1 and 2. A jury found Miller guilty on both counts on July 10, 2008. See Record Document 82. On October 31, 2008, the Court sentenced Miller to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay (1) restitution of $55, 470.94 to his former employer and (2) $89, 130.35 in outstanding tax obligations. See Record Documents 93 and 94. Miller appealed his conviction, but the Fifth Circuit affirmed his conviction on November 20, 2009. See United States v. Miller, 588 F.3d 897 (5th Cir. 2009).

         On February 7, 2011, Miller filed a Motion to Vacate his Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Record Document 114. On November 21, 2011, this Court denied Miller's Motion to Vacate. See Record Documents 146 and 147; see United States v. Miller, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134399 (W.D. La. 2011). On May 7, 2012, the Fifth Circuit affirmed this Court's denial of a Certificate of Appealability on that Motion. See Record Document 161. On June 13, 2012, Miller filed a second § 2255 Motion, styled as a Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis. See Record Document 162. On June 25, 2012, the Court denied that Motion. See Record Document 165. On May 15, 2013, the Fifth Circuit affirmed this Court's denial of Miller's second § 2255 Motion. See Record Document 169.

         On December 15, 2015, Miller filed the instant “Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis or in the Alternative Motion to Amend Judgment Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60.” See Record Document 170. The Government responded to Miller's Motion on January 26, 2016. See Record Document 174. Miller filed a reply brief on February 5, 2016. See Record Document 175.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         I. Legal Standards

         The writ of error coram nobis is the sole remedy available to a person convicted of a crime seeking to vacate or modify a criminal conviction after the person is no longer in custody. See United States v. Morgan, 346 U.S. 502, 505-512 (1954); see United States v. Miller, 546 Fed.Appx. 335, 336 (5th Cir. 2013). The writ of error coram nobis is available under the authority of the “all-writs section of the Judicial Code, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). Morgan, 346 U.S. at 506. This writ is an extraordinary remedy. Id. at 511. A petition or motion for a writ of coram nobis is “a step in the criminal case and not . . . the beginning of a separate civil proceeding.” Id. at 505 n.4.

         To obtain a writ of error coram nobis, a petitioner must demonstrate that: (1) he or she suffers from continuing civil disabilities as a result of his or her criminal conviction; (2) he or she exercised reasonable diligence in seeking relief from his or her conviction; and (3) unless relief is granted, there will be a complete miscarriage of justice. See Morgan, 346 U.S. at 505-12; see Monroe v. United States, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37601 at *14-15 (E.D. Tex. 2005) (synthesizing elements for issuance of the writ under Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit precedent). In deciding a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, “it is presumed the proceedings [in which the petitioner was convicted] were correct, ” and the burden of overcoming this presumption rests upon the petitioner.” Morgan, 346 U.S. at 512.

         II. Analysis

         Miller makes a number of arguments in support of his Petition, primarily relating to the civil disabilities he has suffered and the errors he alleges this Court made in convicting him of tax evasion. See Record Document 170. The Government asserts that none of these arguments have merit. See Record Document 174.

         A. The Court Assumes Without Deciding that Miller Alleged Sufficient Civil Disabilities ...


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